4 Reasons why TSM were eliminated at the LOL World Championships
TSM (Team Solomid) has not passed the group stage of the League of legends World Championship since 2014, despite winning NA LCS once again. They have reached all 10 NA LCS Finals but have always had disappointing results in the Riot Games organized International tournaments, even with one of the best rosters in the region. This year was no exception, especially when TSM had the easiest group among all the North American Teams for this tournament. Here are four reasons why they failed out of the group stages.
They had no early Aggression
Among the 16 teams that participated in this tournament, TSM had the worst early game in the tournament. Of all 7 games they played, they couldn’t secure any first bloods, and had the lowest gold differential in 15 minutes not only in their group, but the entire tournament. I would like to reiterate once again that TSM had the easiest group and starting off with a deficit every game considering the players they have seems like an impossibility. This meta revolves around Supports rushing Ardent Censor first, thus they delay Sightstone and because of this, Junglers theoretically have better opportunities to gank due to less vision on the map. TSM had no early game advantages. Even the games they won were unconvincing, not only did they have miracle team fights from a gold deficit but they never initiated majority of them. It was mainly their opponent’s mistakes. If the middle-packed teams can punish you this much, there’s no telling what the better teams would’ve done with TSM. They looked terrible in this tournament, but they could’ve looked a lot worse.
Their Role-Players were hung out to dry
Role-Players is a term that’s quite nebulous in League of Legends, but my definition of the term goes like this; it’s the opposite of the carry, someone that plays for the team rather for themselves and if the star players aren’t performing, then it’s their job to carry the game. The most prominent Role-Player in TSM is their top, Hauntzer, whose style is the “Third Carry” of the team. If Bjergsen and Doublelift are performing badly, he’s the one you need to look to. Overall, Hauntzer was by far the best player on the team for this tournament. However, TSM should have realized Hauntzer’s rising performance and they should’ve given more resources to him. Of all the games they won, Hauntzer had an important role to their victories from maintaining farm and not falling too far behind without anyone helping him. Now let’s talk about the Jungler. People have already pointed out that Svenskeren is the main reason why TSM performed so badly. However, if you looked in the history of TSM, Jungler’s can’t thrive in this team. Every Jungler they have recruited always performed better outside of TSM. Amazing was much better in S5 Origen, Santorin was the best player on S6 NRG Esports, and Svenskeren was a dominant player on SK Gaming. If you looked at Svenskeren style from SK to TSM, he’s a totally different player. Svenskeren is a team player on this roster so he’ll do what the team wants, but because the team has had awful decision-making, TSM loses in these trades, and he is the first one to blame. They always lost in small skirmishes, fighting for objectives where Svenskeren was usually the first to die and they would lose the fight. You lose your Jungling style in TSM, so whoever was shot calling those skirmishes is the person I blame the most, whether it was Svenskeren or someone else on the team.
Their Star Players were neutralized
If we had to list “Best Combos” in League of Legends right now, Bjergsen and Doublelift would be up there, and they still are up there. One bad tournament doesn’t affect your body of work for an entire year. However, it is undeniable that the World Championships is the most important tournament not just within the League of Legends calendar but history itself. Out of the past 4 World’s Bjergsen has attended, this is by far his worst performance. We think of Bjergsen has a lane dominant player, someone who is the first to roam to impact the map. Bjergsen had no impact. Bjergsen is the best player in NA LCS history and is a contender of not only Best Western Mid, but Best Western Player of all time, but this tournament did not prove it. Of all the International tournaments he has played in, Bjergsen seems to play more passive, than he would in North America. Bjergsen may well be an international choker at this point. If your best player isn’t playing to his strengths than it’s going to be hard to win games, let alone series. Next, there is Doublelift. Doublelift is the Greatest North American born player of All Time and it’s no competition. However, Doublelift in this tournament was not playing to his strengths as well. Doublelift is also someone we think of as a lane dominant player, who gets advantages in lane, and proceeds to impact the rest of the map, especially midlane with mid game teamfights. In all the games, they played he wasn’t able to gain advantages in lane but always had to play catch up. Doublelift had an average negative gold differential at 10 of -149 to ADCs who are not even the best ADC’s in their respective region. Not only is Doublelift struggling in 2vs2, but TSM’s bot lane has had the lowest Experience Differential at 10, with an average of -251 and the only bot lane to have an experience deficit with less than -200. Doublelift’s support Biofrost main strength is a heavy playmaker outside of lane, someone to start off fights, but with an ADC who is constantly shafted in gold, it was almost impossible for TSM to win team fights.
Their only strength was Team fighting and they always fought with a deficit
People might wonder, how did TSM with games then? In North America, whichever team fights the best is usually the best team, but this is not common in regions such as Korea. Even though Samsung are the 3rd seed Korean team, in my opinion they have the best team fighting among all the Korean teams in the World Championship. Both SKT and Longzhu who I think are better teams play a meta game where they snowball their solo lanes and they get their fed carry to impact another lane, thus creating a domino effect. If we go back to TSM, we see that the three games they won, there was possibility of them losing those games as well. Winning team fights from a deficit is easily one of the hardest, if not the most difficult thing to do in League. However, despite being one of the most difficult things to execute in League, it’s also the most unreliable one. If you constantly team fight while behind, there is some gambling aspect to that. There will be a team that will just straight up defeat you in those fights, securing a lead. TSM were only able to win games through miracle team fights from being behind since they had no early game advantages. Once the second week of World’s came, it appears that other teams in the group adapted to this, heavily punishing TSM. With their only win condition gone, TSM were suffocated in every lost.
Do they need a roster change?
If you ignore internal factors and examine gameplay alone, this is quite hard to judge. My answer is they must at least consider a change. Even though this squad has had a terrible World’s performance, they win domestically and since the 2 LCS splits are most the year, you shouldn’t break a roster that can win. If this roster lost in the finals then I would say yes, but this roster most likely will stay together if all the players want it that way. With TSM coach Parth exiting, fans will have high hopes that this squad will reclaim their spot at the top of North America once again.
Credits: LOL Esports